Thursday, March 29, 2012

Roasting Coffee Beans in a Popcorn Popper: A Simple How-To

First there was roasting coffee beans in a frying pan and how to do it, but NOW, my friends, I am going to show you how to roast green beans in a vintage popcorn popper! I would not have known how to do this without working at my awesome job, Mr. Green Beans! Even though I have been working in the coffee industry for eight years (that is so weird and cool to say!) I have learned a lot at this job, including how to roast my own beans on a small scale! (Small scale because when I roasted at The Green Coffee Bean Company we roasted in a Probat L-12, so that's what I'm used to.)

You want to find a vintage popcorn popper because they get hotter than the ones nowadays. The West Bend Poppery II is apparently the ultimate in poppers. There are lots listed on eBay! Sometimes you can find them in thrift stores, but apparently they are getting harder to find. I paid $40 total for mine on eBay and I can tell you that it's still cheaper than buying an actual home coffee roaster and the cost I am still saving by roasting my own beans in a popper is still way cheaper than it is to buy roasted beans elsewhere!

Disclaimer: this is the first time I've ever done this and am delighted it worked! Beans may take longer to roast for you than for me. I'm writing this as a springboard for you to possibly be interested in roasting your own coffee and to delve more into it! And, as always, you are more than welcome to order your green coffee beans from my shop. *ahem* ;o)

I cut this box up to collect the chaff that will blow out of the popper. I've seen the box that Trevin uses at work and it works perfectly! So I jiggered this box and it worked great. 

One of my favorite coffees, Ethiopia Limu! So yummy! It was the very end of one bag, so there was just a little skidge of coffee, but definitely enough to enjoy! 

Since this is my first time, I measured out 3oz in the little popcorn measurer. The popper says it can hold 4oz, but since this was full after 3 I figured I'd just try that. I think it worked fine.

My popper in the position with the chaff-collecting box. 

Action shot of the beans spinning! 

It took seven minutes for my beans to get to the color I wanted them to be. The first crack occurred at about 4 minutes and I let the beans continue roasting for another two and a half minutes or so. As you can see, they are a nice, even color, as compared to the bottom picture, which is the beans I roasted in a frying pan, leading to the beans roasting unevenly.

All in all, I think it was a success and I'm happy! I can't wait to try my coffee tomorrow morning!

I am linking this post to Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.

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